HRC Blog

Momentum Builds in NYC Against FDA’s Discriminatory Blood Ban

Yesterday, the New York City Council’s Committee on Health held a hearing on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s lifetime ban on gay and bisexual men donating blood. The Committee is considering a resolution urging the FDA to revise the policy. HRC was invited to testify about the issue and Henry Robin, a New Yorker and member of our Board of Directors, testified at the hearing – you can read his written statement here [PDF]. Momentum on changing this broad, discriminatory policy is building. As we told you last month, a group of Senators sent a letter to the FDA urging the Administration, in light of changes in science and our understanding of HIV, to revise this nearly thirty-year-old policy. Soon after, the Department of Health and Human Services, FDA’s parent agency, announced that its Advisory Committee on Blood Safety and Availability would review the issue at its meeting in June. As the meeting approaches, HRC will continue to work with LGBT, HIV and public health organizations to pressure the Committee to ensure that the blood donation policy is based on the science of today, not the limited, and biased, understanding of HIV in the early 1980s.

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